Letter to Birmingham Jail

Paper Rating: Word Count: 4137 Approx Pages: 17

In his Letter From Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King, Jr. seizes the opportunity to insult the eight clergymen who criticized his participation in and support of the civil rights demonstrations in Birmingham, Alabama, under the guise of superficial politeness. He begins by addressing the eight clergymen as his "dear fellow clergymen;  the word "dear  is King's first use of sarcastic politeness, and the description of the men as his "fellow  clergymen establishes that by criticizing King, the eight clergymen are criticizing themselves. King's statement that the clergymen are of "genuine good will,  which initially seems flattering, is proven to be sarcasm as the letter continues.

King takes a logical approach to persuade his readers of his opinions and dispute their criticism. He starts his argument by identifying the clergymen's reason for criticizing him, then showing the fallacies in their accusation- a format repeated for each of the clergymen's accusations. King uses ethical appeal when he lists the organizations across the South, which he is representing as the President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He justifies his presence at the

Page 1 of 17 Next >

Related Essays